Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Forked: Part 1


Why would I be nine miles outside of Twin Falls at midnight, standing at the edge of a truck stop with one foot on the pavement and one foot in the weeds, watching the cars pass by on the highway, gazing at the moon?

Because I was on my way to Seattle, obviously. In what has become an annual tradition, every summer I go on a road trip to Seattle.

Last year I went to Seattle to visit Nathaniel, who lived up there. He lives in Salt Lake now so me and he and a couple of nice young ladies went back to pick up his stuff or see his sister or steal t-shirts or something. Tip: any good road trip, especially a fourteen hour trip, should begin as late in the day as possible. We left at about 730pm, driving through the twilight hours, our truck like a stake through the heart of the night.

We brought a book along and took turns reading it out loud. Except for Nathaniel who was usually driving. Kept us busy for much of the drive. Though now we're three months past and we still haven't quite finished the book. That will soon be rectified I hope.

Nine miles out of Twin Falls and five outta Kimberly is a truck stop called Garden of Eden.

It's not just a name, it's a theme.

I think we had three more dead of night truck stop stops on the drive north. It's an interesting feeling, miles away from what you know at an unreasonable hour, roused from a bad sleep and feeling like your soul is on a three-second delay from the rest of your body. You inspect each aisle of the food section meticulously, as though this is your last meal and you can't miss the treasure that you've somehow overlooked. You can't even comprehend the array of oranges and yellows, reds and browns, cool-ranch flavors and 25% more peanuts. You couldn't wait to get out of the car and now you can't wait to get back in and the truck on the left has a Mexican Cowboy DH-ing his lady and the truck on the right is full of white supremacists.

Um, anyway truck stops.

I didn't sleep much and what sleep did come was poor, five seconds off and five seconds on. I had the Stars - The Five Ghosts on a loop in my ears for about three hours and now I can't even listen to it anymore because it is imprinted with the memories of this trip and I know no other memory will ever be able to eclipse that.

We finally came into town a few hours after the breaking of dawn and just in time for breakfast at the 5 Spot, whose french toast is one of the top five foods I've ever eaten. The restaurant has a rotating theme. Last time I was there it was Cannery Row, but this time the theme was Seattle, and they really nailed it.

I love that someone with artistic training and talent painted a portrait of Frasier.

I particularly enjoyed this sculpture of Ken Griffey Jr. inside of a shell of some sort. What is that, a geoduck shell?

Oh man I wish I hadn't just Googled "geoduck." Man. Ken Griffey Jr. One of the most tragic figures of our time. He could have saved us all, and instead he suffered injury after injury until his career ended one day when he didn't bother showing up for work.

We hung out around the water and the Pike Place Market and stuff. Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe, home of the zombie.

The Lusty Lady is a beloved landmark, closed forever this summer because the internet took away all its business.

Is there anything the internet can't ruin?

I like Pike Place Market, even when it's humid. It's so colorful.

I got some avocado flavored bubble tea and it was yummy. Then later I had a cheese lunch. Happytimes.

We walked up to go to the Underground tour and on the way some lady pushed Nathaniel aside and then charged headlong into a busy street. Somehow she didn't get run over, but she did bash her head directly into a light pole while walking full speed.

Oh here's Chief Seattle.

A sculpture of him anyway. Loitering in this square we had a nice chat with a homeless sportsfan santa. He was talking about the Mariners and how great they're going to be once Matt Wieters comes up. I didn't have the heart to tell him that Matt Wieters plays for Baltimore. Then he went crazy talking about snacks. See me in person sometime, I'll tell you about it.

The Underground Tour takes you through the subterranean ruins of old Seattle. I was really interested in it at first but I'll say right off the bat that it's not quite worth it. Unless you like awkward puns delivered by college student-tour guides, who try to make everyone feel guilty for not laughing at their awkward puns.

Tourists are alright though. These two are better than any of us.

I'm not making fun of them, I really admire them.

Not underground?

We kept going from Underground to Not and I was getting so confused as to what was what. Elin had to keep explaining it too me. As a general rule of thumb, darkness: underground, trees: not. But there are exceptions!

This freaky monster of a pig truck reminded us that it was dinner time.

We went to uh, a Senegalese? restaurant. Wow, it was good. I'd recommend it if I knew the name or where it was.

In this picture it may look like Nathaniel is wincing and crying, but really this is an advanced Krav Maga technique.

Ferry to Bremerton, where we would be staying and hopefully getting some good sleep for the first time in thirty-six hours.

Nathaniel and Amy tried to have a private chat on the stern while I stood a few feet away and took pictures of them.

Seattle skyline, beautiful sight from the water.

Moon over the water, still days away from being new.

So that was Day 1. What does Day 2 have in store? Well...

"We brought a book along and took turns reading it out loud."

That book?

Oh no.


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